The City of Music: K’s Choice 2013, Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *

They say there is strength in unity; it can, however that strength can be a double edged sword for in a lot of places the pride in which the artistic scene clubs together is all well and good but it doesn’t flourish because the nature of the sprawling city is not geared up to recognise the distinctiveness that resides at its heart.

Liverpool’s unity, especially at the very grass roots of its music, the travelling acoustic artists perhaps arguably is strong because of the immersive support they give each other and from the incredibly loyal supporters who make their way round pub and club, encircling smaller scale venues to days outside in seeming all weathers such as the iconic and hauntingly beautiful historic landmark of St. Luke’s Church. That support, the loyal following of something so tangible and crafted with the skill of a woodcarver setting about indenting an adored oak tree is easy to understand, especially when you listen to the compilation album The City of Music: K’s Choice 2013.

K’s Choice takes 25 artists who have performed at the weekly acoustic night during 2013 and places them together in a way that is not only remarkable but really hammers home the reality that Liverpool, the proud and rightful host of the City of Culture in 2008, even to an outsider who finds themselves staring at the city ahead of them as they come down the impressive steps that lead out of Lime Street Station or to the person who was born so local they have the image of a Liver Bird engrained forever on their heart and they shed Mersey salt water when they bleed, Liverpool is the home of culture full stop.

Recorded by the artists themselves, levelled by  sound technician Chris Clare-Stewart, and compiled by Derek King, the album consists of songs that exemplify the beauty that resides in the city, the unsigned talent that plays and performs and keeps the rawness of the streets at its heart.

Artists of every creed and ability all with one aim, to get the words out of their head and into the thoughts of those who might find themselves in any establishment on any given day of the week in the city, 25 artists who even on their own are just sublime but who on this one album give the heart the ache of belonging it craves. From the likes of Caroline England’s lovely Ginger, Shannen Bamford’s Hide, Dogstar Rose’s brilliant Strange Enough, the sensational male contribution of Thom  Morecroft, Three Minute Hero, John R Chatterton, Robert Vincent and Billy Kelly with their songs Sexy Shade of Sunburm, The Busker, Robin’s Dance, The Bomb and Blue Skies Blue Eyes through to the phenomenal talent of Jo Bywater, Kate Hazeldine and Chris Callander, The City of Music: K’s Choice 2013 is an album that really holds tightly to the ideal of unity, great music and allowing everybody to have a voice.

Forget, even treat with disdain the compilation album that suggests that it knows music for The City of Music: K’s Choice 2013 really is something that many would argue is what they call music.

Ian D. Hall